Sunday, March 1, 2009
Who Owns Allah?
Who owns Allah?
This is the kind of stupidity
being debated in Malaysia.
Some fanatics claim
exclusive right to Allah.
They want Allah
barring all others
to use his name.
Obviously they have got
the Malaysian authorities
to issue a ban for that purpose
against the common sense!
So what's in a name?
Plenty as you read on.
Please consider this syllogism
to help clear any confusion:-
Allah Is God
God Belongs To Nobody
Nobody Owns God
Hence,it is nonsensical
for Malaysian authorities
to limit the use of the word "Allah"
to muslims only.
Home Affairs Minister
Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
tries to pacify catholics
by signing a special gazette
allowing them to use "Allah"
in the Herald, a weekly publication.
He must have been severely
reprimanded by some narrow-minded
small-hearted pressure group/groups
to suffer the public embarrassment
of rescinding the gazette
in a matter of days
The Feb.16 gazette must be
one of the fastest to be issued
and cancelled by a new gazette.
Syed Hamid found to his distress
that he has to issue another gazette
to re-impose that ban after he lifted it
allowing christian publications to use
the word, "Allah".
So now it's back to square one.
No one except muslims in Malaysia
can use the word, "Allah".
Meanwhile,the archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
has filed a legal suit at the Kuala Lumpur
High Court seeking judicial review
of the Home Ministry's ban imposed
since last year forbidding the Herald
from printing "Allah" in its pages.
The respondents are the Home Ministry,
Malaysian government and state islamic
councils of the Federal Territory,Trengganu,
Penang,Selangor,Kedah, Johor,Malacca and
the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association.
Counsel Porres Royan argues the ban is unlawful
as the word is not exclusive to islam.
Interestingly enough, Syed Hamid's Feb.16 directive
made under the Internal Security Act(ISA) allows
the use of the word "Allah" in christian publications
with the words "Untuk Agama Kristian" (For Christians)
close to the Herald's masthead to indicate that
it is meant exclusively for christians only.
Last Saturday(February 28,2009) this special "Allah"
dispute was mentioned in court and hearing set for May 28,2009.
Under Malaysia's secular state federal constitution,
all Malaysians have the right to freedom of religious worship.
Islam is the official religion. Nevertheless,all religions are allowed to be practised freely until the obnoxious Home Ministry's directive came out last year.
The ban also covers the words "Kaabah", "Solat" and "Baitullah".
Various religious bodies including the Malaysian Gurdara Association are expected to intervene in the action to have the ban recalled and set aside.
The High Court has fixed July 7 to hear an application by the interveners to refer it to the Federal Court for final decision.
Considering the current political tension in Malaysia,it is dangerous to play with religious and racial sentiments.
One only slaps one's own face.
When one spits into the sky,one only spits at
one's own face.
The despicable act to play politics with religion came out
in full front page headline recently.
I am alarmed at the insidious use of the mass media to stir up religious-racial sentiments via political-press complicity.
The Utusan Malaysia, a Malay daily, ran big bold banner:
DAP Hina Islam? (DAP Insults Islam?) last Tuesday(February 24,2009).
It states that the Penang state government's establishment of an interfaith religious council to promote and strengthen greater religious understanding and appreciation should be stopped because it puts islam on the same status as the other religions.
It quotes the president of the Penang state islamic council Shabudin Yahaya as follows:-
"I understand three Malay committee members of islamic faith sit in the council that aims to promote religious equality.
"This is frightening as the islamic religion is being viewed as
being on the same level as Buddhism founded by Gautama Buddha and it is being lumped together with christianity,taoism
and Bahai (faith)."
The press report elaborates that the council was set up last year after the opposition People Alliance state government headed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng took over the state after the People Alliance defeated National Front with sweeping majority votes at the March 8,2008 Political Tsunami General Election.
Lim wants to sue the Utusan Malaysia for misreporting.
Shabudin,who is National Front State Assemblyman for Permatang Berangan,Tasek Gelugor, stresses islam as a religion is high and there is none higher than it.
He thinks Lim has put islam on the same level as the other religions and insulted islam.
So with such leaders, no wonder Syed Hamid has to cancel what he has already signed and issued!